Crook rested as Hampshire come to town

Steven Crook will miss the Championship clash with Hampshire this week
Steven Crook will miss the Championship clash with Hampshire this week

Northamptonshire have rested all-rounder Steven Crook for the County Championship encounter with Hampshire that gets under way at the County Ground tomorrow (Wednesday).

The Australian, who has been in outstanding form this season since rejoining from Middlesex, is the first bowler to be stood down as the use of a rotational system comes into play.

This policy was stated as being on the cards before the campaign got under way and captain Alex Wakely, who will agains be in charge with Stephen Peters sidelined with a bad finger injury, knows that it is a bit of a Catch-22 situation.

He said: Crooky’s been a superstar for us and he’d probably be the first name on the teamsheet at the minute.

“But we talked about this before the season started and the fact of it is that no bowler can play every four-day and one-day game.

“Steven hasn’t played a full season of all cricket for a while and we don’t want to leave anybody out, the plan is so come the end of the season we’ll be able to pick the players that we want to.”

Crook’s place wil go to one of the trio of Muhammad Azharullah, yet to make a competitive senior appearance for the club, Olly Stone or Lee Daggett with David Willey, who missed the victory over Warwickshire on Monday, returning to the fold.

As for the opposition, Wakely is aware of the fact that they are one of the favourites to claim a promotion spot.

He continued: “It’s a big game for us and the fact that they drew with Lancashire helps us out.

“Any sort of result against a side like them would be good for us and we’ll go into the game full of confidence from the one-dayers.

“The aim, as it has always been, will be to take as many points as we can and not get too far ahead of ourselves becuase that’s when you can come unstuck.”

Northants from: Spriegel, Middlebrook, Sales, Wakely, Newton, Hall, Duckett, Willey, Copeland, Azharullah, Stone, Daggett, Keogh